History of FLA
Forest Landowners Association was founded as Forest Farmers Association in 1941 in Jacksonville by a group of timberland owners who wanted a stronger voice in matters affecting their business. Founders included W.M Oettmeier Sr., and Judge Harley Langdale, Sr. The 1940s was a time when the best interests of timberland owners were threatened by unfavorable legislative action in Congress. Founder, W.M. Oettmeier, was forcibly reminded that through united efforts private ownership of forestlands could move onto its proper place in the southern economy.
The result of a meeting held in 1940 by several forest landowners was the organization of the Forest Farmers Association Cooperative chartered by the state of Georgia on February 21, 1941. The organization originally was chartered to “operate in the southern region as a non-profit organization, organized for the purpose of furthering the interests of owners of timbered lands in every legitimate manner”. The city of Valdosta was designated as the principal city of business of the Association and the incorporating directors were:
- W. M. Oettmeier, Fargo, Georgia
- A. V. Kennedy, Waycross, Georgia
- S. J. Hall, Jacksonville, Florida
- H. M. Wilson, Jacksonville, Florida
- Harley Langdale, Sr., Valdosta, Georgia